This is not the best single volume history of the Civil War. It lacks objectivity and depth in its original form and its revision was singularly uninspired. All of those complaints having been noted it is not a bad introduction to the uninitiated and may be sufficient for the casual student allowing them the sight of documents and maps that they may not find elsewhere.
The Civil War archive : the history of the Civil War in documents edited by Henry Steele Commager ; revised and expanded by Erik Bruun New York : Black Dog & Leventhal : Distributed by Workman Pub. Co., c 2000 Hardcover. Rev. ed. of: The Blue and the Gray. 1950. 854 p. : maps ; 29 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 829-846) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG
The Civil War Archive presents the full story of the war between the states in documents direct from the minds, pens and hearts of the men and women who experienced it.
Hundreds of papers, letters, memoirs – culled from family records, private correspondences, public archives and a variety of other sources – trace the war from the nomination of Abraham Lincoln, through violent battles at Bull Run, to the surrender of Lee at Appomattox, Reconstruction and beyond.
Messages from lonely mothers at home, stories from soldiers on the front lines, lyrics to rousing battle hymns, confidential communications among officers – these primary documents render history in its rawest form and depict the war’s impact on every spectrum of American society.
Expanding upon Henry Steele Commager’s two-volume The Blue and the Gray, editor Erik Bruun brings to light new material that presents the Civil War through a contemporary lens, taking into account previously under-represented perspectives of blacks in the Civil War and including new sections on the war’s aftermath and Reconstruction.
Entries are arranged chronologically, allowing The Civil War Archive to be read as a start-to-finish narrative of the war and its aftermath. In addition, each document is indexed by author and title, so history buffs can reference each piece by source or subject.